Budapest, 2016. november 22. Szijjártó Péter külgazdasági és külügyminiszter (j) fogadja hivatalában Ibráhim al-Dzsaafari iraki külügyminisztert 2016. november 22-én. MTI Fotó: Soós Lajos

Budapest (MTI) – The stability of Iraq is one of the most important issues as regards European security, Péter Szijjártó, the foreign minister, said on Wednesday.

At a joint news conference held after meeting his counterpart Ibrahim Al-Jaafari, the Hungarian minister said Iraq played a pivotal role in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organisation. The defeat of IS is crucial to security at various points in the world and a solution to the migration crisis, he said.

After the two officials signed a pact on avoiding double taxation, they both called for closer ties between the European Union and Iraq to promote peace and security.

Szijjártó said unless IS is defeated in short order, Europe will again face “dramatic challenges” such as a new migration wave and the threat of terrorism.

Hungary urges tighter cooperation between the European Union and Iraq and an increase in EU humanitarian aid to the country. He noted 10 million people depend on aid in Iraq and 4.5 million are internally displaced.

Hungary plays an active role in the fight against IS, the minister said. Currently 146 Hungarian soldiers are serving in northern Iraq and new weapons will be sent to the region in January. Also, 15 Iraqi officers are being trained in Hungary. The country is also ready to treat any injured Iraqi soldiers, he added.

Hungary has paid 3 million euros into the EU fund that provides humanitarian aid to the region and has sent its own aid worth 190 million forints since the conflict broke out. In addition, it is financing 100 scholarships for Iraqi students studying in Hungarian universities. A related agreement is about to be renewed, he added.

Szijjártó also told his counterpart that Iraqi police would take part in training in Hungary over the long term as part of an Italian initiative.

As a Christian country, Hungary pays particular attention to the Christian community suffering in war zones, and where it can, it provides aid to ensure that they can return to their freed homelands as quickly as possible, he said.

Szijjártó said it was “good news” for two-way economic ties that Hungarian exports to Iraq last year had grown by 34 percent and by 24 this year. Further, several Hungarian food-industry companies had made investments there, tapping sources available through Hungary’s Eximbank, he added.

UPDATE

Orbán holds talks with Iraqi foreign minister

Budapest (MTI) – Prime Minister Viktor Orbán held talks with Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Jaafari in Parliament on Tuesday, the prime minister’s press chief said.

Orbán and Al-Jaafari discussed, among others topics, the treatment of injured Iraqi soldiers and the fight against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organisation, Bertalan Havasi said.

They agreed that defeating IS is crucial for establishing peace in Europe and that if the Middle East is not stabilised, terrorism and migration will pose greater threats to Europe than ever before.

Orbán Viktor miniszterelnök (j) és Ibráhim al-Dzsaafari iraki külügyminiszter (b) tárgyal Budapesten, az Országházban 2016. november 22-én. Mellettük Szijjártó Péter külgazdasági és külügyminiszter (j2). MTI Fotó: Miniszterelnöki Sajtóiroda / Botár Gergely

Orbán reassured Al-Jaafari that Hungary is prepared to contribute everything it can to the fight against IS and that it is ready to treat 20 injured Iraqi soldiers.

The prime minister and Al-Jaafari welcomed that despite the unstable security situation, Hungary and Iraq’s economic ties were showing promising signs of development, Havasi said.

Photo: MTI

Source: MTI

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